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Publication numberUS5490925 A
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 08/088,833
Publication dateFeb 13, 1996
Filing dateJul 7, 1993
Priority dateMar 13, 1992
Fee statusPaid
Also published asDE4208274C1, DE59308128D1, DE59310227D1, DE59310228D1, DE59310363D1, DE59310394D1, EP0560368A2, EP0560368A3, EP0560368B1, EP0720856A2, EP0720856A3, EP0720856B1, EP0826383A2, EP0826383A3, EP0826383B1, EP0826384A2, EP0826384A3, EP0826384B1, EP1323439A2, EP1323439A3, EP1323439B1, US5259961
Publication number08088833, 088833, US 5490925 A, US 5490925A, US-A-5490925, US5490925 A, US5490925A
InventorsHans-Gunter Eigendorf
Original AssigneeMedical Support Gmbh
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Assembly for the on-line flushing and filling of an extracorporeal blood circulation system of dialysis machines
US 5490925 A
Abstract
A dialysis machine assembly having an internal flushing and filling facility for a blood flow circuit of the assembly is disclosed. The dialysis machine assembly includes dialyzer having a membrane and an inlet and an outlet for blood side with corresponding blood tubes and an inlet and an outlet for dialysate side with a valve located downstream of the outlet for dialysate side. A dialysis liquid supply is connected to the inlet for the dialysate side and the valve is partially closed to force dialysis liquid to flow through the membrane from the dialysate side to the blood side through the blood tubes to flush and fill a blood flow circuit prior to performing a dialysis treatment with the dialysis machine.
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Claims(8)
I claim:
1. A dialysis machine assembly having an internal flushing and filling facility for a blood flow circuit of the assembly, said dialysis machine assembly comprising a dialyzer having a membrane, a first inlet and a first outlet in said dialyzer on one side of the membrane, a first blood tube connected to said first inlet and a second blood tube connected to said first outlet, a second inlet and a second outlet in said dialyzer on the other side of the membrane, a dialysis liquid supply means for providing dialdysis liquid under pressure into said second inlet and through said second outlet and forming a dialysis liquid circuit, sterile filter means upstream of said second inlet for assuring a germ-free state of dialysis liquid entering said second inlet, a valve means in said dialysis liquid circuit located downstream of said second outlet, and means for at least partially closing said valve means and forcing dialysis liquid to flow through the membrane to provide a sterile liquid passing out of said first inlet and outlet and through said first and second blood tubes to flush and fill the blood flow circuit prior to performing a dialysis treatment with said dialysis machine.
2. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said valve means comprises a three way valve having three connections, two of said connections being in said dialysis liquid circuit.
3. The assembly of claim 2 wherein one of said connections is open to the atmosphere.
4. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said valve means is mechanically operable.
5. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said valve means is electrically operable.
6. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said valve means is automatically adjustable.
7. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said blood tubes have outlets and said outlets are connected to a container.
8. The assembly of claim 1 wherein said blood tubes have outlets, said valve means comprises a three way valve having three connections, two of said connections being in said dialysis liquid circuit, and the third connection being to the outlets of said blood tubes.
Description

This is a divisional of application Ser. No. 07/892,792 filed on Jun. 1, 1992, now U.S. Pat. No. 5,259,961.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a method for flushing and filling an extracorporeal blood circulation system of dialysis machines, in particular blood tubes and dialyzer, and to an assembly with the aid of which an extracorporeal blood circulation system can be flushed and filled. The filling process includes the deaerating of the extracorporeal blood circulation system, the deaerating operation being an indispensable precondition for a dialysis treatment.

Disposable tubes which are normally packed under sterile conditions and have to be flushed, deaerated and filled prior to a treatment are nowadays used a arterial and venous blood tubes of an extracorporeal blood circulation system. These operations have so far been carried out with physiological salines that are conveyed by the blood pump of the machine through the tub system and the dialyzer to flush the extracorporeal blood circulation system, thereby freeing it from impurities, and to fill the system, so that air is entirely removed.

The use of a saline flushing liquid has the disadvantage that it entails considerable costs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is the object of the present invention to provide a method which is used for flushing, deaerating and filling an extracorporeal blood circulation system of dialysis machines and which is nevertheless inexpensive. It is another object to provide an assembly with which this method can be carried out.

In the method of the invention, the dialysis liquid which has been produced or prepared by the dialysis machine is conveyed through or into the extracorporeal blood circulation system for the purpose of flushing, deaerating and filling. As a result, a saline solution filled into a bag need no longer be provided for this purpose. Moreover, such a bag had to be connected by an operator to the arterial blood tube in former times. Furthermore, saline solutions need no longer be kept available in great amounts for such a purpose, and empty bags need no longer be disposed of.

In accordance with the invention, the dialysis liquid is taken at the blood side of the dialyzer and filtered thereby. This ensures a germ-free state of the flushing and filling liquid in a reliable way, with the dialysis liquid serving as an entirely acceptable substitute for the saline solution.

According to another inventive suggestion, the dialysis liquid taken from the dialyzer can be pumped by the blood pump of the machine through the extracorporeal blood circulation system, which shall be explained in more detail in the following. In this embodiment of the invention, the suction side of the arterial blood tube is preferably connected by means of a disposable article or connector to the dialyzer, preferably at the point to which the venous blood tube is connected during a dialysis treatment. The blood pump segment of the arterial blood tube is inserted into the blood pump of the machine, preferably a roller-type pump, and the other, free end of the arterial blood tube is preferably coupled via another disposable article with the inlet of the venous blood tube. The venous blood tube is passed across an air detector in the conventional way. The other end of the venous blood tube is connected downstream of the dialyzer to the dialysis liquid circuit, preferably by means of another disposable article, to a sampling valve of this dialysis liquid circuit.

When the blood pump is out into operation, dialysis liquid is drawn through the semipermeable membrane of the dialyzer into the blood tubes. Only sterile and germ-free flushing liquid flows into the extracorporeal blood circulation system. The flushing liquid and the air previously existing in the extracorporeal circuit are introduced downstream of the dialyzer machine, whereby disturbances of the equilibrium or other machine faults are avoided.

According to an alternative suggestion of the invention, the dialysis fluid is pumped by a pump of the dialysis liquid circuit, and not t y the blood pump of the machine, through or into the blood tubes for the purpose of flushing, deaerating and filling the extracorporeal blood circulation system. This process may be initiated by the filling program of the machine.

To be more specific, in this embodiment of the method of the invention, the arterial and venous blood tubes are coupled to the dialyzer in the same way as during a dialysis treatment. In the dialysis liquid circuit, a three-way valve with 2/2 ports is arranged downstream of the dialyzer for closing the dialysis liquid circuit either fully or partly or for interrupting the same. The third port of this three-way valve which may, e.g. be adjusted mechanically is not positioned in the dialysis liquid circuit and is capable of establishing a connections which is open to the atmosphere. The valve partially or entirely blocks return of the dialysis liquid through its own circuit and causes the liquid to pass through the dialyzer and through the blood tubes.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the three-way valve is an electrically operated valve which is controlled by the dialysis apparatus itself or by an additional device.

For flushing and filling the extracorporeal blood circulation system, the three-way valve is operated in such a way that the dialysis liquid circuit is opened to the atmosphere, whilst the line leading away from the dialyzer is closed fully or partly. It should be noted that it is also possible to adjust and intermediate position of the three-way valve in which only part of the dialysis liquid can flow off through the valve assembly. This shall be explained further below.

When the dialysis liquid circuit is open to the atmosphere die to the switching of the three-way valve, the sensor means of the machine can sense the air flowing via the associated connection into the interior of the machine, and initiate the filling program specific to the machine. The dialysis liquid from the machine is pressed via the dialyzer into the two connected blood tubes, since the three-way valve has interrupted the dialysis liquid circuit either fully or partly. The blood tubes are titus flushed, deaerated and filled with the dialysis liquid.

According to another inventive suggestion, the connections at the patient are, e.g., coupled to an empty bag. In this case it might be of advantage to switch the three-way valve to an intermediate position at which the dialysis liquid circuit is closed only partly. As a result, the bag is not filled with an amount of flushing liquid that is too great, and is also not subjected to a pressure that is too great and might make the bag burst.

In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the connections of the two blood tubes at the patient can be coupled to the third connection of the three-way valve which is not positioned within the dialysis liquid circuit, i.e. preferably by means of a suitable disposable article. Another possibility is that the free ends of the blood tubes are arranged such that they terminate in an open vessel.

In this last-mentioned embodiment of the method of the invention and the assembly of the invention, respectively, the arterial pump segment is not inserted into the blood pump because the arterial blood tube is filled in the opposite direction.

An advantage of the above-described second variant is that sterile disposable articles are not needed at the dialyzer side and that the arterial and venous blood tubes are connected in the usual way and need not be varied in any way.

The flushing and filling process need not necessarily be initiated by the filling program specific to the machine, which program is responsive to air flowing into the interior of the machine.

The assembly of the invention has already been described above to a large extent in connection with the method of the invention. According to an additional inventive suggestion, a sterile filter is arranged upstream of the dialyzer in the dialysis liquid circuit to promote and ensure the necessary germ-free state.

According to another aspect of the invention, the dialysis liquid which is used as a flushing liquid is employed at the end of the dialysis treatment for flushing the extracorporeal blood circulation system. For the is purpose, it is expedient to discharge said liquid during the flushing operation into a bag. A flushing operation is necessary to return all of the blood to the patient after a dialysis treatment. This has so far been accomplished with the air of a saline solution.

According to another inventive suggestion, the extracorporeal components are cleaned such that they can be used again. To this end, an assembly may be chosen as is described further above in connection with the first embodiment of the method of the invention. During a cleaning program specific to the dialysis machine, cleaning liquid is passed due to the conveying action of the blood pump via the semipermeable membrane of the dialyzer into the extracorporeal circuit, with the latter being thereby cleaned.

It is, of course, within the scope of the invention to further se the extracorporeal components as disposable articles.

It will be understood that during dialysis treatment, the blood and dialysis liquid flow in separate paths on either side of the membrane of the dialyzer. During the flushing operation, dialysis liquid is filtered through the membrane and into the blood circulation components.

Other features, advantages and details of the invention will become apparent from the following description of some preferred embodiments taken in conjunction with the drawing, in which there is shown in a purely diagrammatic way.

THE DRAWING

FIG. 1, a first embodiment of the assembly of the invention;

FIG. 2, a conventional assembly; and

FIG. 3, a second embodiment of the assembly of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

First of all, reference is made to FIG. 2 to explain conventional methods employed for flushing, deaerating and filling an extracorporeal blood circulation system. The figure illustrates a dialysis machine 1 proper having an upper monitoring level 2, a central level 3 comprising a blood pump 4 and an air detector 5, as well as a lower level 6 including the hydraulic part.

Dialysis machine 1 is connected via a supply line 7 to dialyzer 8 from which a return line 9 leads back to dialysis machine 1 to close a dialysisliquid circuit.

An arterial blood tube 10 and a venous blood tube 11 are connected to dialyzer 8 at the illustrated points for carrying out a dialysis treatment. A blood pump segment 12 of the arterial blood tube 10 is inserted into blood pump 4, whilst the venous blood tube 11 is guided via air detector 5.

For the preparation of a dialysis treatment, blood tubes 10 and 11 must be flushed and the extracorporeal blood circulation system must be deaerated and filled. To this end, it has so far been customary to connect the free end of the arterial blood tube 10 to the outlet of a bag 13 containing a salt solution. Blood pump 4 conveys the salt solution through the arterialblood tube 10, dialyzer 8, venous blood tube 11 and air detector 5 to discharge the flushing liquid into an open container 1,4 in the end.

Reference is now made to FIG. 1 in which, just like FIG. 3, the components corresponding to those of FIG. 2 are designated by identical reference numerals. For the sake of clarity, these reference numerals will not be repeated.

In this embodiment of the invention, the arterial blood tube 10 is connected by means of a disposable article 15 to dialyzer 8 at the place to which the venous blood tube 11 is coupled a according to FIG. 2. The blood pump segment 12 of the arterial blood tube 10 is inserted into bloodpump 4, and the free end of the tube 10 is connected by means of a disposable article 16 to the venous blood tube 11. The venous blood tube 11, in turn, is guided across air detector 5 and is connected by means of disposable article 17 to a sampling valve 18.

A sterile filter 19 which promotes and ensures the germ-free condition of the flushing liquid is arranged in line 7 of the dialysis liquid circuit.

Dialysis liquid is conveyed by blood pump 4 from the dialysis liquid circuit 7, 8, 9 into the arterial tube 10 and the venous tube 11, from where it is returned into the dialysis liquid circuit (at 18) to avoid disturbances of the equilibrium or other machine faults.

In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 3, the arterial blood tube 10 and the venous blood tube 11 are connected to dialyzer 8 in the way as described with reference to FIG. 2 and require during a dialysis treatment. In this embodiment, a three-way valve 20 is arranged in line 9. Connections 21 and 22 of said valve are assigned to line 9, whilst its connection 23 is normally open to the atmosphere.

During a dialysis treatment a connection is established between 21 and 22, whilst, as already stated, connection 23 is open to the atmosphere. For the purpose of flushing the extracorporeal blood circulation system, valveassembly 20 is switched to passage 22, 23. An intermediate position in which there exists a restricted passage 21, 22 can also be selected. Dialysis liquid from dialysis machine 1 is pressed via dialyzer 8 into blood tubes 10, 11, with the latter being flushed. Flushing liquid may be discharged either via lines 24 into a bag 25 or via lines 26 into a a openvessel 14 or may be supplied via lines 27 to connection 23 of three-way valve 20, from where liquid is passed into the dialysis liquid circuit or rather line 9 thereof.

The blood pump segment is not inserted into blood pump 4 in this embodiment.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
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US5772624 *Jul 20, 1995Jun 30, 1998Medisystems Technology CorporationReusable blood lines
US6165149 *Jul 14, 1997Dec 26, 2000Dsu Medical CorporationReusable blood lines
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Classifications
U.S. Classification210/321.69, 210/252, 210/258, 210/195.2, 210/136
International ClassificationA61M1/16, A61M1/34, A61M1/36
Cooperative ClassificationY10S210/929, A61M1/16, A61M1/3643, A61M1/3427, A61M1/3647, A61M1/3465, A61M1/365
European ClassificationA61M1/36C6
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 12, 1999FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Aug 13, 2003FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Aug 13, 2007FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 12